Chickpeas with This & That

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Soak 200 to 250 grams of dried chickpeas in water for a night. Wash them well. Put them in a pressure cooker. Add just enough water to barely cover them.

Take the cooker to your spice and herb rack. Add this and that. In my case those were:

  • A fistful of garlic cloves.
  • A  teaspoon of pepper corns.
  • Some star anise.
  • A little cumin.
  • A dry red chilly.
  • A little Ajwain (Ccaraway) seeds.

Pressure cook on high for one whistle. Simmer for 8 mins. When pressure has dissipated, drain the water. Let the chickpeas cool. Mash in the soft garlic into the chickpeas.

Mix together with some fresh red chilly and onions. Drizzle olive oil. Test for seasoning.

Enjoy this with that.

Red and Green

You need:

  • 3 Red Beets, Grated.
  • Methi or Fenugreek leaves.
  • Fox nuts or Makhana.
  • Freshly ground pepper.

Roast the fox nuts and keep aside. They should be crisp and crunchy.

Saute the greens in a table spoon of hot oil, over high heat, stirring, till they stop releasing water.

Add the beets and mix well. Sprinkle pepper and season with salt. This will need very little salt so take care.

Add most of the fox nuts, save a few for garnish.

Eat immediately. Fox nuts have a tendency to get hard over time.

Heart Healthy Greens

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You Need:

  • Malabar Spinach : 19 calories in 100gms but loaded with vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (niacin) and C, as well as the minerals calcium, iron,phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
  • Grated Mango Ginger :  helps with asthma, bronchitis, cough.
  • Diced Fresh Red Chilies: Anti Inflammatory.
  • Cumin and Coriander seeds.

Heat some oil. Preferably mustard or coconut. When hot, crackle some cumin and coriander seeds in it. Then spread out the greens all over the saute pan.. Reduce the heat.

Now start grating the mango-ginger and dicing the chilies. Add them to the wilted greens. Mix well. Season with salt.

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Enjoy.

Chilly Broccoli

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Simple as always.

You need:

  • A head of broccoli. Separate into large florets. Wash and dry.
  • A yellow capsicum, sliced into long thick sticks.
  • 4-5 Big Red Chilies, remove seeds and cut lengthwise thru the middle.
  • 4 tablespoons of Flavored Oil : Use either sesame, coconut or olive oil. Add pepper, salt, cumin seeds, onion seeds…whatever you want, as much as you want.

Take the flavored oil in a large dish. Toss in the capsicum and chilies. Rub in the oil and remove them. Add the broccoli and coat it in oil. Doing this in two batches ensures a good rub on everything without destroying the tender florets.

Get a pan to high high. Add the capsicum and chilies. They MUST sizzle when put on the pan. If your pan is large enough, push them to a corner and add the broccoli. Broccoli must not be stacked on each other. But each and every floret must make contact with the pan. Let it cook at high heat. Turn them around once in a while. The chilies will cook first. Remove and when slightly cool cut them into thins strips.

When the capsicum and broccoli is cooked thru and its easy to know this as they become brighter and brighter. When they look bright enough, taste if unsure. Remove from pan.

 

To make it a full meal, add in any grilled protein.

Vegan Proteins : Green Chickpeas

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Green Chickpeas are an excellent source of folate (vitamin B9) as well vitamins A & C. They also contain a good amount of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

You Need:

  • Approx 100 gms of dry chickpea per serving per person.
  • 1 teaspoon each of cumin and coriander seeds.
  • A little turmeric powder.
  • Chopped Mint leaves, medium onion and green chilies.

Soak the chickpeas overnight. They put them in a colander and wash under running water. Wash them really well. Rub them with you fingers and be absolutely certain that there is no dirt of grit stuck on them.

In a pressure cooker add the chickpeas, cumin, coriander, salt and enough water to cover them all. On high heat till first whistle and then let it simmer for no more than 10 mins.

When pressure has dissipated open and cook on high heat till all the water has dried up. Just a minute before taking off the stove add the onion, green chilies and mint leaves.

Mix well and enjoy a very yummy and super healthy dish.

Ratatouille : A Vegan delight.

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The beauty of this dish is that it uses the same ingredients for the base and the sauce. So every bite is bursting with yummy flavors.

You need:

  • An eggplant.
  • Zucchini, one yellow and one green. Both sliced into thin rings.
  • A red and yellow bell pepper. Sliced into thin strips.
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped.
  • A little thyme.
  • Olive oil.

Cut the egg plant into long one cm wide strips. You will not need the entire zucchini cut into rings. Measure out how many rings you need based on the baking dish you use. Whatever is left over goes into the sauce. Same with the bell peppers.

Ideally keep these dry ingredients in the pan to get an idea of what you can spare for the sauce.

Heat olive oil. Cook the tomatoes and left over vegetables till they have softened and the oil is getting separated. Season with salt and flavor with thyme. Puree it in a blender.

Make a layer of the sauce. Arrange the vegetables. Use your imagination to do this.

I placed the eggplant strips as parallel rows with a 2 centimeter gap. Used them to support the zucchini rings. The bell pepper strips were placed on the sides for more support. Added a little sauce on the top as well.

Cover with a foil or parchment paper. Don’t forget to make a small hole in this to allow the steam to escape. Bake at 180 for 40 mins. For the last 15 mins, remove the foil / parchment cover.

Enjoy a yummy Vegan Christmas dish.